Why Television Networks Are Stupid

Written by   (author of Obvious Conclusions)


Today, let’s talk about Why Television Networks Are Stupid.

I am thinking about this as I am waiting for the show 24 to download.  I am downloading 24 from this page.  By the time many of you read this, the link will be dead or say something like “this show is unavailable due to copyright infringement”.

I am downloading 24 because I am Living in Uruguay and they do not air the latest episodes of 24 here.

I download all of the shows that I like–24, Californication, Dexter, Lost, Entourage.  They’re all available.  How?  Basically, people Tivo these programs and then put them on the Internet and try to make money by people clicking on the surrounding ads.  For an example of this, see the website iwatchlostonline.com.  Did you know that, if you type in “watch lost online”, you will receive over 4 million web pages dedicated to this topic?

So, what do the networks do to combat this?

They employ people to track and shut down all of these sites which, judging by the vast availability of everything, works about as well as an athlete saying he didn’t take steroids when he did.

This is why our topic today is Why Television Networks Are Stupid!

Before I locate a streaming version of any program on the Internet, I go to the network’s website to see if I can watch the program online there.  The answer is “no” with such frequency that I have stopped looking.  (On this note, we have to give it up for Fox.  They do make 24 available online but, if you are outside the U.S., you cannot get it.  Why?)

The music and movie industries have a problem with the Internet.  Their mediums are such that product does not easily lend itself to advertising.  Thus, when the product is downloaded, no revenue will go to the creators.  In fact, this is in the news now as movie studios are going after file sharing site Pirate Bay.

But with TV, this is easy.  On the evening that your program airs, put it on your network’s website and make it available everywhere.  This could be done with or without advertising (though I imagine you prefer the with advertising model).

This is such a no-brainer and this is Why Television Networks Are Stupid!

Networks, why do you not do this?  People will come; I assure you.

The problem with streaming or downloading shows from the Internet is that is can be time-consuming.  With all of your little network banditos trying to find copyright infringements, it can take time to find a good download location that offering suitable quality.

This is why if you build it, they will come.

HBO and Showtime:  you all have an excuse.  You are more in the movie business.  HBO, you even admit:  “It’s not TV; it’s HBO.”

Here too, a solution still exists-offer inexpensive subscriptions.  How much money do you get when one cable subscriber gets HBO?  It can’t be that much.  Offer a monthly, online subscription to your shows at a low price.

Will I have to write Why Television Networks Are Still Stupid next year?  The Internet exists.  Adapt!  Put all of your programming online!

Now, I have got to get back to 24…I hope your minions have not yet found this site I am watching it on yet.

Further Reading:  See Best Free Web TV Site

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Richard Cummings

Richard Cummings is writer, traveler, and web content developer.

Get your copy of his latest book entitled Obvious Conclusions, stories of a Midwestern emigrant influenced and corrupted by many years living in San Francisco and abroad. It just received its first outstanding review "...reminiscent of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs" on Amazon UK.
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Comments 4

  1. Ms. SP

    If you haven’t tried it yet, Hulu.com has a lot of the networks signed on. You can get full-length content for free. I don’t know if the most recent season of 24 is on there though.

  2. Pingback: Hulu Online TV | Revolutionary Online Television...If They Don't Screw It Up

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